Just One Word

Extremely_loud_and_incredibly_close_largeI am listening to a book right now called Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. It is really good… I am only half way through, but feeling confident in my recommendation. (Unlike We are Water, by Wally Lamb which I thought was great, but recommended half way through before something seriously disturbing happened in the book and felt bad because I should have recommended with caution)

This morning on my commute in, the main character, a 9 year old boy, meets his 103 year old neighbor. The neighbor reveals he has a card catalog filled with every person he has ever met, read about or heard about. On each card he has the person’s name and one word that describes the person. The two characters get in a debate about using “one word descriptions” and it got me thinking what would my word be? Would I assign myself different word than my husband would? My clients? My children? My parents?

The first word that came to mind was “Chaos” and not chaos in a bad way, because chaos is not a bad thing to me. I like chaos and it seems there is always chaos around me. Whether external or internal.

Some days my word would be “stuck” and other days it would be “free” Some days it would be “manic” and other days “bored” but those are just daily words, not all encompassing “me” words.

What about “optimist” or “evolving” or “growth” or “creative” or “true”. My 11 year old said “Swagtasitc” I think because she thinks she is being funny.

As much as I want a word, I just can’t say there is one. I believe it is out there, but it also believe it would have to be a word that encompasses everything. And maybe that word has not been invented yet. Or maybe I am overthinking it completely.

The logic of the 103 year old man is, you could write a paragraph, an article a book, and you will never have enough words, so you might as well just pick one. And the more I think about it, I wonder if it is more about the words that I would not use. Like “Normal” or “conformed” or “settled” or (gulp) “ordinary”.

Maybe my word should be “confused”….


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